Do you need a quiet space in UNHQ to work?

Thursday, 01 March 2018

Look no further than the Second Floor Reading Room in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library. Especially if you are tired of hot desking, and need to concentrate on finishing that report.

The room has been recently refurbished, and offers comfortable seating and outlets to plug in laptops.  Open to UN Headquarters ground pass holders, it’s an ideal space to focus on activities like research, project work or speech writing.

The room has gone through many transformations since 1961. For decades it was called the Woodrow Wilson Reading Room because it housed the U.S. president’s papers about the League of Nations.  Until 2008, it operated as the UN reference collection for the Library and contained the most consulted UN documents and publications.  It was closed in 2008 to accommodate the media outlets covering the UN during the Capital Master Plan. Construction damaged the ceiling and made it necessary to refurbish the room before it could be used.  It reopened in November 2016 and has been designated as a silent study space.

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library was dedicated to the second Secretary-General after his death in 1961. At the time, the Library Building was written up in architectural magazines which described the room in glowing detail:

“All is movement in the slope of the wall and undulating ceiling [of the Reading Room]. The informal planking of the Idaho white pine ceiling and wall contrasts with the dark African wenge wood of the card catalog which follows the sloping line of the wall. The end walls are of Peruvian travertine…” Interiors Magazine, 1963.

With the coming of modern information systems, the card catalog is now empty but the room is filled with the passion for learning and creativity so often attributed to the late Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. We look forward to seeing you there.

Learn more about the history of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library: